Are the Following Suits Cognizable by a Civil Court in India?
(b) Yes. His expulsion from the caste affects his legal rights forming part of his status and is cognizable by the civil court.
(c) No. The Swami claims a mere mark of honor and his suit is not cognizable by the civil court.
(d) Religious offices may be divided into two classes: (1) where fees are appurtenant as a right; and (2) where no fees are attached but the holder may receive such gratuities as may be paid to him, viz., the office of a pujart As regards the religious offices where fees are appurtenant as of right, there is no dispute that a suit will be against an intruder for a declaration that the office is vested in the plaintiff.
But as regards religious offices where no fees are attached there was a divergence of opinion in the decisions of the different High Courts. According to the Calcutta High Court, it is a suit of a civil nature cognizable by a civil court on the analogy of the definition of “office” in the explanation to Section 9 of the Code.
According to the Madras High Court, a suit does not lie for a religious office to which no fees are attached, as in their opinion such a religious office where no fees are attached is not an “office” within the meaning of the section.
According to the High Courts of Allahabad and Patna, a right to perform a religious office to which no emoluments are attached could not be enforced by a civil suit. The Bombay High Court has been the view that a suit lies for a religious office which is attached to a place though no fees are appurtenant to it, e.g., the office of an officiating priest in a temple, but not where the office is personal in character, e.g., office of a guru.
The uncertainty has now resolved in view of Explanation II to Section 9 which specifically provides that it is immaterial for the purposes of this section whether or not any fees are attached to the office or whether or not such office is attached to a particular place.
(f) Yes. Every member of a caste is, at all reasonable times and on proper demand, entitled to inspection of account books as it is a legal right.